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1970 Plymouth still on the beat

by David Zatz on

The Seattle Times printed an Associated Press story of how the local police are using restored police cars in active duty, largely in the interest of community relations. The featured car was a 1970 Plymouth Satellite, a car closely related to (and nearly identical in appearance to) the Belvedere and Road Runner.

The car’s current driver, Officer Jim Ritter, claims that there have been at least three minor accidents as drivers rubbernecked the vintage police car, a phenomenon known to many drivers of vintage cars.  Ritter uses the 1970 Plymouth as his standard cruiser.

The original idea behind restoring the Plymouth and other vintage cars was to drive it in parades and bring it to events, but officers noted that the general public was attracted to the cars, and that people who would not normally talk with the police came right up to officers driving a classic.  The car essentially eliminated normal barriers to conversation with the public, including “apparent gang members,” who “drop their swagger” to chat about the Plymouth.

Ritter takes the police car everywhere he would normally take a modern cruiser. He said the 330-horsepower car was relatively noisy and bumpy; it has a modern radio but no other modern gadgets, and Ritter himself wears a vintage uniform.

Other restored Mopars in the collection include a 1963 Plymouth Savoy, a 1976 Dodge Dart, and a 1979 Dodge Aspen.  (Thanks to several readers)

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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